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Author Topic: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???  (Read 4091 times)

StevenTing

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Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« on: February 14, 2012, 05:46:44 PM »
Went to the range today to fire the rounds I loaded up a couple weeks back.  Lots of smoke when I was firing.  I'm using 4.6 grains of Titegroup pushing 230gr RN.  What causes all of the smoke?  Is it my powder?  Should I change?  I remember when I was reloading 7-8 years ago that my rounds were also smoky.

What am I doing wrong?  Or is this normal?
Utah


Outbreak

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 05:57:07 PM »
Depends on the powder and the bullet. Lead bullets make more smoke than jacketed, and some powders are smokier than others. The real determining factor that I can find is the load. If you find the sweet spot on your powder charge, the smoke will drop off...if you care. :shrug.

I shoot my reloads outside mostly, so I don't care about the smoke. It did present a problem about a month ago when I had to take down 4 or 5 poppers lined up front to back, and there wasn't much wind to clear the smoke. I could barely see the last popper after 5-7 shots.
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Grant

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 06:01:09 PM »
  I don't know dad's combo, but his loads look like black powder.    I think he uses titegroup, and almost all non-jacketed bullets as well. 
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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 06:14:25 PM »
For my .40S&W competition loads, I use either a 155gr or 175gr LSWC on top of 5.0gr of Win231, and I know a guy who uses the same bullets on top of slightly less Bullseye. Both resemble muskets.
TexasOutbreak

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I absolutely despise Glocks. That's why I only own two.

I'm glad that your chains rest lightly upon you. --JesseL

THE NORSEMAN

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 09:23:06 PM »
Lead slugs, fast powders, and light charges add up to smoky loads.  You have 2 things going on here that give you grief simultaneously:

1.  Light charge= low pressure= incomplete powder combustion= smoke(just like a campfire that's not burning optimally for instance)
2.  Low pressure= no bullet base obturation= bore not sealed= gas bypass= lead and lube smoke.

It's normal for what you're doing.  Though you might try universal or unique powder next go round.  Universal's my favorite for mouse fart loads, I've found it less smoky at low pressures than most other powders.
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Panhead Bill

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 12:04:14 AM »
I don't mean to hijack the thread (okay, maybe I do), but since it sounds like Steven is using the exact same load as I am, figured my questions are probably pertinent. I have noticed a little bit of smoke, though it didn't seem extreme. However, some of the earlier comments intimate that 4.6 grains of titegroup under a 230 gr bullet is relatively light. I finally chrono'd mine today, and the velocities were relatively high, just barely below what I chrono'd factory SD rounds at. So, am I missing something?

Bill
California

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 12:32:50 AM »
No, you're not, you may just have one of those guns that "shoots fast".  Rugers are known to do that, where as S&W handguns are known to shoot a tad "slow" vs. published data.  Not saying one's better than the other, just noting something is all.  Now then:

According to Hodgdon's website that I just looked at, that load is squarely in the middle:  4.4 grains under a 230 = 744fps@15,000 CUP, and 4.8 grains = 818fps@16,700CUP.  The key to our discussion here is the term "relative":

   At peak pressures, the 45 ACP is a relatively low pressure round all things considered.  Commercial cast slugs are usually cast from relatively hard alloys. This usually = No slug base obturation at low pressures. Add that to mis-sized slugs(usually undersized), and commercial lubes that are designed more to survive shipping under adverse conditions than actually serve as a lube, and you get smoky loads.
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StevenTing

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Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 12:43:22 AM »
Ya. I loaded in the middle on purpose as this is my first time doing lead. I've got about 350 rounds left and then I'll go back to played. I ordered the xtreme bullets and want to try them out. I'll probably start those at 4.6 grains and work my way up. Ive got 1.5 pounds of tite group left.
Utah

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 02:34:25 AM »
One thing I've noticed about lead vs plated/jacketed (I think this has been covered before, maybe in my own thread) is that lead goes way faster than jacketed.

I loaded some 9mm 115gr lead at the starting load for 115 jacketed. They didn't stabilize. So I added a few tenths of a grain of powder. I got high pressure signs. The low end of powder got them going fast, and more powder was high pressure.

This was at the starting load for Jacketed bullets.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 01:54:33 PM by Outbreak »
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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 12:08:37 AM »
With all else being equal, a lead slug will usually go faster as far as measured MV goes.  It's both slicker and more malleable than gilding metal or steel jackets. 

There is the odd case here and there  of a load combination resulting in it being so slick that peak pressure is reduced to the point that the lead projectile is slower, but that's a rare bird indeed, and even then, when you dig into such an occurence, it usually involves and undersized slug and piss poor accuracy anyway.
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Panhead Bill

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 03:51:18 AM »
Holy crap!  I was just wiping down my pistol in advance of tomorrow's match and I looked inside my barrel - it's never leaded like this before. But it was really bad. I scrubbed it as good as I could in the time I had, I'll deal with it more tomorrow afternoon.

I've done a similar load before and not had this problem. I remember something about barrel leading being less with either hotter or milder loads - which one is it?  Any ideas?

Bill
California

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 12:42:26 PM »
I haven't noticed much leading in my barrels, but I shoot a handful of jacketed factory loads every once in a while. Cleans them out nicely.
TexasOutbreak

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StevenTing

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Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 02:01:45 PM »
So how can you tell if your round has stabilized?  Is this something you have to do with precision shooting?
Utah

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 02:29:23 PM »
No, nothing that complicated. Stabilized they act like any other bullet. When mine didn't stabilize, they would hit feet away from point of aim inside 25yds and keyhole when they got there.
TexasOutbreak

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I'm glad that your chains rest lightly upon you. --JesseL


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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 02:29:53 PM »
Panhead Bill, a suggestion:

Clean your barrel thoroughly, alternating between copper and lead/powder solvents.  Go by the directions on the bottle to the letter with the copper solvent you choose, they can be rough on barrels if mis-used.  I think you'll find more stuff in your barrel than your naked eye would have you believe.  Is your crown in good shape? Also-

Check a slug(hopefully you have some left that aren't loaded still) for proper diameter.

Steve-  It's pretty obvious if they don't stabalize, you usually get a shotgun pattern(or wider) of weird shaped holes in your target.

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StevenTing

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Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 03:31:48 PM »
Good info. Most of my shooting is within 10-15 yards. Don't think something could keyhole in such a shot range.
Utah

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 04:19:46 PM »
Oh yes it can Steve.  I had a 44 magnum load doing it to me at 15 feet on one occasion.  Like I said, you'll know it if it happens- The holes in the target will be odd shaped and very random.  It will be a shotgun pattern, not a group of any sort.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 09:49:07 PM by THE NORSEMAN »
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Panhead Bill

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 06:22:25 PM »
Thanks, Norse, for the advice. Another thing, at the range today, everything I shot was consistently to the left. Not bad group sizes, but everything was to the left.  No keyholes.  Did it with both lead cast bullets and with factory jacketed rounds, until I shot 3-4 magazines of jacketed rounds, then my POI started shifting towards center. I don't think it was me, even when I slowed down a focused intently on fundamentals, it was still shooting left.

Could that be an effect of the leading, and shooting the jacketed rounds cleaned the bore out enough to correct it?  Just a thought
California

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 06:45:06 PM »

Could that be an effect of the leading, and shooting the jacketed rounds cleaned the bore out enough to correct it?
Most likely. Shooting jacketed strips a lot of leading out with it. I'm sorry you guys are having leading issues - it does happen sometimes when the bullet diameter and/or bullet hardness aren't right. It gives lead a bad name, but in fairness it would be like shooting the cheapest fmj ball that wasn't accurate and thinking all jacketed ammo was similar.
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Panhead Bill

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 10:11:56 PM »
Randy, I've worked with lead before - loaded and shot about 500 rounds I cast with a friend of mine and didn't have any trouble with it, so I don't blame the lead per se, I understand that it's just a matter of getting everything dialed in.

Bill
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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2012, 03:04:30 AM »
I've loaded LRN, plated, and jacketed and I will say that lead will make a mess with higher pressure and/or higher velocities.  Most of my pistol loading has been for the Super .38 and it can lead bad unless I load down to .38 ACP levels and is always smokier.

Unique is the one powder I've really seen a difference in the burning between low and high pressure.  In my not quite max super loads it is wonderfully clean, but if I down-load it to a start charge it is a bit dirty.  .38 spcl loads can be down right filthy.

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StevenTing

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2012, 08:47:35 AM »
The Unique powder, that's the one from Alliant, right?  Just reading the description and says it's for Shot lots, and secondary for Pistol loads.
Utah

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2012, 09:46:01 PM »
Steve, if you don't already have it, don't go buy Unique.  Yes, it's an Alliant powder, btw.  Go with the Clays powder instead.  It is MUCH cleaner at low pressure.
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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2012, 11:30:52 PM »
I've loaded LRN, plated, and jacketed and I will say that lead will make a mess with higher pressure and/or higher velocities.  Most of my pistol loading has been for the Super .38 and it can lead bad unless I load down to .38 ACP levels and is always smokier.

Unique is the one powder I've really seen a difference in the burning between low and high pressure.  In my not quite max super loads it is wonderfully clean, but if I down-load it to a start charge it is a bit dirty.  .38 spcl loads can be down right filthy.

My friends that load super hot .38 Super or 9mm Major competition loads use Montana Gold FMJ or JHP loads because of the extreme leading and subsequent loss of accuracy of lead bullets.

Relatively high pressure doesn't seem to lend itself well to lead bullets.
TexasOutbreak

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Re: Smoky/Dirty Rounds???
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2012, 11:35:26 PM »
If you're going to push lead projectiles hard, invest in some gas checks.
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